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Exhibit Honors Pioneering Gay Candidate

Exhibit Honors Pioneering Gay Candidate


Before Elaine Noble, Allan Spear, and Harvey Milk, there was Jose Julio Sarria -- believed to be the first openly gay candidate to run for public office anywhere in the world and now the subject of an exhibit at the San Francisco GLBT History Museum.

Sarria ran for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1961, 16 years before Milk became the first out gay candidate to win a post on that body. Although Sarria did not win the election, by receiving 5,600 votes he demonstrated that there was a gay voting bloc in the city, the museum notes. Sarria was also a popular drag performer at the city's Black Cat bar.

The exhibit, which includes many of Sarria's campaign materials, runs through January 1.

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